The media tycoon faces a cost of collusion with overseas parts to hazard nationwide safety, apparently for tweets he made and interviews or commentaries he did with overseas media.
Jimmy Lai, the 73-year-old Hong Kong media tycoon and advocate for democracy, was denied bail on Saturday after being charged the day prior to this below the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s new nationwide safety legislation.
Mr. Lai faces a cost of collusion with overseas parts to hazard nationwide safety, apparently for tweets he made and interviews or commentaries he did with overseas media.
The Apple Daily, a feisty pro-democracy tabloid owned by Mr. Lai, stated he’s accused of asking a overseas nation, organisation or particular person to impose sanctions or have interaction in different hostile actions towards Hong Kong or China.
His case was adjourned to April 16 on the request of prosecutors, who stated police wanted time to evaluation greater than 1,000 tweets and feedback made on his Twitter account, the Apple Daily reported.
The newspaper stated his charge-sheet listed a number of overseas politicians who adopted Mr. Lai on Twitter and cited commentaries he wrote and interviews he did with overseas media.
Mr. Lai, who was already being held on different fraud prices after police raided his media firm, might be seen handcuffed to a sequence round his waist as guards led him to a van to go from jail to court docket. He wore a navy blazer and an open-neck shirt.
Beijing imposed the nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong earlier this yr after stormy protests in 2019 that began over an extradition invoice and expanded to incorporate calls for for larger democracy within the former British colony.
The new legislation outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with overseas forces to intervene in Hong Kong’s affairs. It has constricted free speech within the metropolis, and democracy activists see it as a method to suppress dissent.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Saturday morning Asia time that the safety legislation makes a mockery of justice. He known as for Mr. Lai’s launch, saying his solely crime is talking the reality about China’s authoritarian Communist Party authorities.
Mr. Lai, the highest-profile particular person charged below the safety legislation, has additionally been arrested for different alleged offenses this yr. He has been charged with collaborating in unauthorised protests and with fraud over alleged violations of workplace lease phrases.
He has advocated for different international locations to take a harsher stance on China, and met with Mr. Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence within the U.S. final yr to debate the extradition invoice, which the Hong Kong authorities ultimately withdrew.
Mr. Pence additionally tweeted about Mr. Lai, saying the fees towards him are an affront to freedom loving folks round in all places.